Last Thursday it was too nice to stay stuck indoors staring at a computer screen so I decided to drive over to White Coppice and get up on the moors. My recent foray onto the Kinder Plateau had reminded me of the wild West Lancashire Pennine moors – although Kinder is higher and has more Millstone grit outcrops and rock formations, it’s very similar. I’d grown up trampling on these moors and always enjoy being up there, whatever the weather. But Thursday was a sunny day and less likely to be a quagmire underfoot!
I expected there would be quite a few people tramping up the main path up Great Hill from the hamlet so I decided on a less frequented route, up the clough (pronounced cluff), the narrow valley in the hillside, and along the Black Brook. As the water level was relatively low, followed the brook rather than the easier path a little above the water, which involved some easy scrambling, but a little more challenging than normal!
The lower sections of the brook show the influence of humans. This was an industrial landscape at one time – stone quarrying and mining for lead – and there’s still plenty of evidence of it’s history as you follow the brook.
There’s an entrance to an old lead mine in the side of the hill
After a while the valley starts to level off
and the summit of Great Hill becomes visible across the heather and bracken.
I left the clough and followed the path that took me up on tot he main path up towards the summit.
Passin the ruined farm of Drinkwaters
This is probably one of my favourite views – it brings back so many memories of walks up here when I was a teenager.
Carrying on up to the summit
It was a bright sunny day but long range visibility was poor. A pity as it’s an excellent viewpoint on a good day with views in every direction. There’s Darwen tower and Pendle Hill. I could just make out the Lake District Mountains, Ingleborough and the Snowdonia range in the murk but they wouldn’t come out in my photos.
After a short break in the shelter I descended down the flaged path
and then at the bottom of the hill took the path heading westwards.
Approaching the ruins of Great Hill farm. You don’t see many people on this path, but there’s usually plenty of sheep!
Looking across the moor – there’s Round Loaf to the far left – which is covered with heather, although the colours haven’t come across well in the photo.
A closer view of the purple heather in bloom
After Drinkwaters, at the fork, I took the path over Wheelton Moor towards Brinscall. It’s flat level path which I think was originally constructed to allow access to the moor for grouse shooting.
They don’t do that up here any more (a good thing too), but there is clear evidence that it used to take place. Here’s an old, disused shooting butt, there’s several along the side of the track
Carrying on, looking over the moor I could just make out the distinctive shape of Pendle Hill in the distance
I descended down the narrow road towards Brinscall
but before the bottom took the left turning down the path through Wheelton Plantations.
I then followed the path along the Goyt back to White Coppice
It’s a very picturesque hamlet, but again has an industrial histrory – it was originally a mill and mining settlement.
No cricket match today